A win win deal from nhi


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Viability's Guy Wilkinson writes a monthly column for Hotelier Middle East Magazine. This article originally appeared in November 2009.
For more information about Viability, please visit http://www.linkedin.com/company/2347942 or http://www.viability.ae/

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A win win deal from nhi

  1. 1. 18COMMENT A win-win deal from NHI Viability director Guy Wilkinson explains why the Oman National Hospitality Institute’s new branch in India will benefit both Indian hotel employees and Gulf hospitality employers district known as South Extension already qualified or experienced investment in their careers. “The fees 1, with Omani-designed classrooms hospitality personnel to work in the are affordable compared to equiva- featuring multi-media equipment. Gulf. Costing students just over US lent courses in India and the ultimate Officially opened for business this $800, the 10-hours-a-week, 12-week perspective is that Indian hotel staff summer, the school is offering Indian course earns graduates internation- can double their salaries if they get a working hoteliers a special course ally-recognised qualifications from job in the Gulf,” comments MacLean. called Hospitality Plus that will essen- the UK’s City & Guilds and British The NHI has also cunningly over- tially make them more employable by Chartered Institute of Environmen- come two other important areas of luxury hotels in the GCC. tal Health. Such qualifications not concern for Gulf recruiters, by offering “We’ve been listening to comments only make them more employable in both monitored psychometric testing from Gulf hoteliers who complain the Gulf, but also in Europe and other and face to-face interviews via web that it has become increasingly diffi- western countries. cam in the institute’s Delhi premises. COLUMNIST cult to find the right staff from India,” Course topics include basic Arabic “It sounds crazy, but in the past, explains NHI Principal Robert and English language skills, a Middle potential employers could not always he National Hospitality Insti- MacLean. “As India’s economy has Eastern cultural orientation, as well be sure who they were interviewing T tute (NHI), with its live train- ing restaurant and five work- ing hotel guest rooms in the Wadi Kabir district of Muscat, is already well-known for its dedication strengthened over the past few years, the number of new hotel openings in the Gulf has also increased, meaning that although there is a much greater demand for staff, there are fewer as basic food hygiene, telephone skills, customer service, up-selling, groom- ing, time keeping, etiquette, conflict handling and work ethics. The NHI’s target is to turn around 250 to 300 stu- over the phone, or who had actually filled in the online psychometric test,” says MacLean. With high levels of interest from hotels in the Gulf already registered, to the cause of workforce localisation qualified and experienced ‘five-star dents during 2010. MacLean sees no contradiction in in Oman’s hotel sector, where official workers’ available from India and this new focus on importing workers, Omanisation quotas are way ahead of more workers of four-star standards MULTIPLE BENEFITS when the NHI has historically been the equivalent in other Gulf countries. coming out of the hotels and manage- The new course has many advantages celebrated for its role in substituting However, the NHI’s latest initia- ment schools there.” for would-be employers in the Gulf. them with local nationals. tive is focussed on helping Gulf hotel For a start, it costs them nothing, “Even when Omanisation reaches recruiters source better-qualified staff COURSE DETAILS since there are no recruitment charges its peak level of about 75% in the hotel from India. The NHI has set up a ded- Hospitality Plus is a special course and the students are encouraged to sector, there will still be a need for for- icated branch in New Delhi’s busy devised specifically to empower view the course fees as a worthwhile eign expatriates to make up the differ- ence,” he says, pointing out that the school is already very international: Even when Omanisation eventually reaches its peak level the 50-odd students on his Ameri- can Hotel and Lodging Association- of about 75% in the hotel sector, there will still be a need backed Hospitality Management Diploma course, for example, hail for foreign expatriates to make up the difference from no less than 14 countries. The NHI is a beacon for the Gulf in hotel vocational training and edu- cation, and it looks like it will soon build up a similar name for excellence in the Indian market. Not only that, but Indian hotel employees and Gulf hotel employers stand to reap benefits by supporting their efforts — a win- win scenario for all concerned. HME Guy Wilkinson is a director of Viability, a hospitality NHI principal Robert MacLean. and property consulting firm in Dubai. For more information, email: guy@viability.ae November 2009 • Hotelier Middle East r Middle www.hoteliermiddleeast.com